The Fastest-Growing Companies in England | 2024

 11 June 2024
Table of contents

In the final part of our series, we’re looking at England’s fastest-growing companies.

When you Google “what is England famous for?”, a number of things come up. Pubs, Stonehenge, the royal family, the NHS, even rain. But despite its small geographical size, England is a commercial powerhouse competing with the USA, China, India, and more.

It’s also home to some huge global businesses such as BP, Shell, and Unilever, as well as providing a platform for startups and SMEs — just think of Revolut, Deliveroo, and Monzo, all started in England. In this latest article in our series of the UK’s fastest-growing companies, we’ve taken a deep dive into England’s rich high-growth ecosystem.

How to find the fastest-growing companies in England

To identify the fastest-growing companies in England, we’ve calculated turnover growth between each company’s two most recent financial statements.

To be included in the analysis, a company must have had comparable statements for the last two financial years, reported at least £100k in turnover during their most recent financial statement, and hit one of our Growth Signals.

See how Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub uses Beauhurst to find data on local businesses.

Discover England’s high-growth landscape

Before exploring the companies that made the list, let’s take a closer look at England’s high-growth landscape.

Out of the UK’s four nations, England secures the top spot for number of high-growth companies (13,467) with the highest total turnover (£794b). England comprises over 88% of the UK’s high-growth companies — with London boroughs coming out on top for both number of high-growth companies and total turnover.

Westminster is number one, with 903 high-growth companies and a total turnover of £61b. In second place is the City of London, which has 693 high-growth companies, and in third is Camden with 351.

This mirrors total turnover, with the City of London coming in second place again (£46b), and Camden coming in third (£43b).

We also looked at which industries are coming out on top.

As we’ve seen in all our other UK countries, distribution and wholesale is the most prevalent industry (14.4%), followed closely by application software at 11.2%. In third, property development and construction, which was in second place for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In fourth place was online retailing with 7.8% – the only time it’s made the top four list in our series — with The Hut Group, one of the UK’s largest online retailers, making our recent list of UK unicorn companies.

Notably, however, our top 10 is packed with travel companies, likely reflecting a bounceback effect from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdowns.

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England's Top 10 Fastest-Growing Companies

Here are the top 10 companies in England seeing the fastest-growth in turnover.


Wendy Wu Tours

Local authority: Southwark
Employee count: 100-249
Turnover growth: 3,622%

Wendy Wu Tours operates a travel and tour agency specialising in holidays to regions including the Far East, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, and South America.

In 2020, it appeared on the high-growth list 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain. It also hit our Social & Governance Signal for gender equality amongst its directors. Recent comparable statements show that the company saw an impressive 3,622% in turnover growth.



Local authority: Camden
Employee count: 10-24
Turnover growth: 3,833%

Flexy has developed a recruitment website and app for temporary workers that uses algorithms to match candidates with jobs, connecting them directly to employers.

It hit our Growth Signal for equity fundraising, with the company securing two rounds of fundraising totalling £600k before being acquired by Impellam Group in 2019. It has also hit our Social & Governance Signal for gender pay equality.


Abstract Securities

Local authority: Westminster
Employee count: 10-24
Turnover growth: 4,791%

Abstract Securities runs a property development and investment company. Founded in 2000 by Mark Glatman, The Abstract Group specialises in commercial property development, investment, and venture capital financing.

From 2021 to 2022, the company reported a huge increase in turnover of 4,791%.


Chartridge Developments

Local authority: Buckinghamshire
Employee count: 5-9
Turnover growth: 5,251%

Chartridge Developments develops and sells property. The company supports their consumers in every part of the property development process, from buying land to designing the home, right through the construction process.

As with many industries, COVID-19 impacted the property development market severely, but 2021 to 2022 saw a substantial increase in the company’s turnover of 5,251%.



Local authority: Cambridge
Employee count: 100-249
Turnover growth: 5,271%

Five, also trading as FiveAI, is creating artificial intelligence software for use in autonomous driving technology.

It has featured on two high-growth lists, the BusinessCloud TransportTech 50 and 100 SmartTech Innovators. Five has also secured equity fundraising four times, totalling £68m — and received an R&D grant for £9.95m. In addition to this, it also hit another of our Innovation Signals for having a patent.


1st Class Holidays

Local authority: Trafford
Employee count: 50-99
Turnover growth: 7,532%

1st Class Holidays runs an online travel agent and tour operator. It provides personalised holiday tours to locations all over the world such as New Zealand, Canada and South Africa.

The company hit our Growth Signal for equity fundraising, securing £2.5m in 2015. It also hit our Social & Governance Signal for having an age diversity in the directors of the company.



Local authority: Westminster
Employee count: <5
Turnover growth: 8,080%

Altiq is a hedge fund group established to leverage cutting-edge technology solutions for investment management. Altiq was founded by Dr Sam Gover and Dr Peter Ho in 2009, who established the fund after working together at IKOS.

The company reported an increase in annual turnover of 8080% from 2022 to 2023.



Local authority: Kensington and Chelsea
Employee count: 100-249
Turnover growth: 8,482%

loveholidays has developed a website that allows consumers to search for holidays based on requirements other than destination. It exited in 2018, following an acquisition by Livingbridge for £180m.

The company secured over £3m in equity funding prior to acquisition, and also appeared on the 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain high-growth list in 2018.


Distant Journeys

Local authority: West Lancashire
Employee count: 25-49
Turnover growth: 15,722%

Distant Journeys provides a range of guided tour holiday packages around the world. The business recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, and possesses a combined 80 years of experience among the directors.

It featured on the Ward Hadaway: North West Fastest 50 in 2021, and hit our Growth Signal for having undergone an MBO/MBI.



Local authority: Oxford
Employee count: 25-49
Turnover growth: 17,526%

Vaccitech, also known as Barinthus Biotherapeutics, is developing a vaccine that is intended to work against every strain of flu virus. A University of Oxford spinout, the company secured a total of £162m in funding before going public in 2021, raising a further $110.5m (£86.1m) in its IPO.

The company reported a huge increase in turnover of 17,526% between 2022 and 2021, securing it the top spot in our list.

What are Growth Signals and how do we calculate them?

We know that just having data isn’t the answer — you also need to be able to interpret it.

That’s why we created Signals as a way to make our data easier to understand. Beauhurst Signals mean that our clients don’t need to be data analysts to do sophisticated work, they just need to hit a few buttons.

To determine Scotland’s fastest growing companies, we utilised Growth Signals. These are:

If a company is associated with any of these indicators, it will be assigned a Growth Signal.

Our methods of growth

To create this list, we looked at how high-growth English companies are achieving growth.

Out of the 13,467 English companies with a Growth Signal, 21% of them have received equity funding, a much higher proportion than any of our other nations.

Even though London boroughs secured all three top spots for number of high-growth companies and total turnover, only 16% of England’s fastest-growing companies are based in the capital (2101) — a much lower proportion than in other UK nations such as Wales.

A substantial 38% of the companies featured on a high-growth list, bringing England into second place for high-growth list appearances. And 4.2% of the companies attended an accelerator, which is around the average we’ve seen across the UK.

All this data and more

If you’re keen to discover fast-growing companies in England and throughout the UK, Beauhurst provides the ideal solution. Our platform delivers comprehensive insights into emerging and ambitious businesses, ensuring you stay ahead of the competition.

Identify market trends, streamline your research efforts, and capitalise on opportunities with our extensive dataset. Our platform covers a wide range of industries and regions, giving you a complete perspective on the UK’s business environment.

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